Candidate for President’s Statement
“We don’t just speak the change. We make the change.”
A Proven Record of Achievements:
1. The Enhanced Policy for R&R (ST/AI/2018/10 and its Corr.1)
2. Reclaimed Boarding Assistance (ST/AI/2018/1/Rev.1)
3. The New Allowance for Staff in “E” Family Duty Stations
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Dear International Staff Members,
We all share the same concerns and aspire to the same goals. We are proud to work for the United Nations in the service of humanity. To that noble end, we make incomparable sacrifices in increasingly more unpredictable and unstable zones, with overly complex mandates and under severe budgetary constraints. We honor our obligations and work with dedication.
We deserve the utmost appreciation, duty of care and premium quality of employment. However, we are continuously and actively targeted under the false pretext of saving costs and as the wrong solution to the real problems. We are the heartbeat of the Organization. Cutting our jobs and wages or trading in our expertise and institutional memory means amputating the overall Organization’s competence. We are for what we are worth, not for what we cost.
The Organization is at a turning point with on-going reforms, multiple threats to our job stability and lack of career and growth: downsizing, liquidations, GSDM, stagnated lateral and upward mobility, pointless performance management system and most recently, an extended Delegation of Authority to missions over many aspects of our working conditions. At the same time, political agendas and cost-cutting measures impinge on our wellbeing: conditions of service, safety, security, health, entitlements, welfare and work-life balance.
Having a robust, capable and reliable Executive team with an experienced leadership is more needed than ever. We need a team with a proven ability not only to speak of change but to make the change. It takes more than slogans to turn the wave.
I have been, like many of you, living in hardship and dangerous locations for quite a long period of time. I profoundly feel and understand the real challenges we face in the field and have been capable of presenting persuasive arguments to resolve some of them. At the helm of staff representation, it is necessary to have the right spirit and tools to perform successfully: truthful compassion, sound reasoning, persuasiveness rooted in knowledge and, experience with the political, economic and legislative regimes, buttressed by a belief that the Organization has an ethical obligation and social responsibility towards its staff.
It also takes building rapport with the stakeholders and acquiring the first-hand experience of the mechanisms of negotiation at different levels of policymaking. First, within the Secretariat in the Staff-Management Committee (SMC) which is the forum for consultation between Management and staff over crucial policy changes. Second, with the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), the GA subsidiary body and a highly politicized forum where Management and Staff Federations, in tandem or conflict, try to persuade 15 Commissioners entrusted with recommending our conditions of service to the Member States. Third, with sister unions and federations, whose voices affect the intended outcome of our efforts, to employ our collective reasoning when in agreement and to steer through opposing arguments when our interests are in conflict.
Privileged to claim those qualities, confident of mastering those mechanisms and having gained this broadened experience during my last two years as Vice-President of the FSU, I decided to run for President along with two remarkable colleagues. We are confident in our ability to step up to this critical responsibility, resting on the necessary political savvy and our collective extensive knowledge and experience.
You too have your share of responsibility. You hold the power to choose and need to employ it wisely away from the influence of easy rhetoric. It is wise to trust those with a proven record of actively defending your rights and improving your lives with tangible results.
“The more we accomplish, the more we know we are capable of accomplishing.”
Ongoing Efforts in the Pipeline:
1. Downsizing/GSDM Mitigation for FS Staff and Fixed-Term Contracts
2. An Objective Performance Management System
3. A Mobility Policy that Works
4. Objective Gender Balance
5. A Meaningful and Holistic Accountability Framework
6. Fairer Pay and Post Adjustment Methodologies
7. Family Care
Two notable achievements will resonate to many of you: the enhanced implementation of the Rest and Recuperation Framework (ST/AI/2018/10 and its Corr.1) and, reclaiming Boarding Assistance under the new Education Grant Scheme (ST/AI/2018/1/Rev.1). These could not have been achieved without my relentless efforts and employing cognizance, analytical skills, reasoning, and rapport with the different stakeholders.
I have also played a significant role in the ICSC recommendation to the GA to grant 75% of the Non-family Service Allowance (NFSA) to field staff in family duty stations with hardship D and E who choose not to install their families due to hardship conditions. The GA has now approved the allowance for E duty stations as a pilot and deferred the matter for D duty stations.
I am fully aware that despite these successful endeavors, the road ahead is still long, and many more challenges are yet to overcome. As you read this statement, I am actively engaged and progressing in other issues important to all of us: Mitigating Measures for Downsizing and GSDM, especially for FS staff and staff on Fixed-Term contracts; a fair Performance Management System; a Mobility scheme that actually works; an objective Gender Balance; a meaningful and holistic Accountability Framework with the aim to provide the necessary protection of staff against any potential abuse of authority, harassment and retaliation, in view of the new far fetching Delegation of Authority granted by the Secretary-General to Heads of Missions; fairer Pay and Post Adjustments Methodologies; and Family Care.
Other alarming dossiers are work in progress: conditions of service, pay, and post adjustments; contractual arrangements; nationalization and outsourcing; rosters; mobility, including opportunities for FS staff for upward mobility; safety, health and security; work/life balance, Rest and Recuperation and leave entitlements including leave for family care; pension and after service social security.
“You don’t swap horses in midstream.”
Continuity, acquired knowledge, experience and insight, proven performance and rapport with the stakeholders cannot be overstated as crucial elements of success in our time-constrained mission.
Should you grant us your trust, we are determined to pursue the progress, guided by your needs, building on the gains of experience and fueled by the energy and quality of the incoming Vice-Presidents.
Voting for us is voting for your interests. More information on our views on specific topics will be communicated in our Manifesto.
Thank you for reading.
Mohammed Helal – for President